Elon Musk Relaunches Twitter’s Premium Service With Color Checks – The Hollywood Reporter

Elon Musk said Friday that Twitter plans to relaunch its premium service, which will offer different colored checkmarks to accounts next week, in a new move aimed at improving advancing service after an earlier attempt backfired.

It’s the latest change to the social media platform that the billionaire Tesla CEO bought last month for $44 billion, a day after Musk said he would “pardon” suspended accounts. only and cause more instability for users.

Twitter previously suspended the premium service, which according to Musk issued a blue check label to anyone paying $8 a month, due to a wave of impostor accounts. Initially, blue checks are given to government organisations, corporations, celebrities and journalists that are verified by the platform to prevent impersonation.

In the latest version, companies will receive a yellow check, the government will receive a gray check and individuals paying for the service, whether they are celebrities or not, will receive blue check, Musk said Friday.

“All verified accounts will be manually verified prior to triggering the check,” he said, adding that it was “Painful, but necessary” and promising a “solution.” prefer longer” next week. He said the service is “slated to launch” on December 2.

Twitter halted the revamped premium service a few days after its launch earlier this month after accounts impersonated companies including pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly & Co., Nintendo, Lockheed Martin and even Musk’s own businesses Tesla and SpaceX, along with many professional and political sports organizations. data.

That’s just one change over the past two days. On Thursday, Musk said he would “amnesty” the suspended accounts, following the results of an online poll he conducted into whether the accounts did not “break the law or engage to serious spam” should be restored.

The number of votes in favor was 72 percent. Such online polls are not scientific and can easily be influenced by bots. Musk also used an account before recovering the account of former US President Donald Trump.

“People have spoken out. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted Thursday using a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”

The move could put the company in a predicament as European regulators seek to clamp down on harmful online content with tough new rules that bolster Europe’s reputation with as a global leader in efforts to rein in the power of social media companies and other companies. digital platform.

Zach Meyers, senior research fellow at the Center for European Reform, said a full pardon based on an online poll was an “arbitrary approach” that was “hard to reconcile with the Technical Services Act”. digital”, a new EU law that will begin to apply to the largest online platforms in mid-2023.

This law is intended to protect internet users from illegal content and reduce the spread of harmful but legal content. It requires major social media platforms to be “due diligence and objectivity” in enforcing the restrictions, Meyers said, which should be clearly stated in fine print to users when signing up.

The UK is also developing its own online safety legislation.

“Unless Musk quickly moves from a ‘go fast and break things’ approach to a more sober management style, he will face the regulatory authorities of Brussels and London, ‘ Meyers said.

European Union officials took to social media to highlight their concerns. The 27-nation bloc’s executive committee released a report on Thursday that found Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed it less this year than it did in 2021.

The report is based on data collected in the spring – before Musk acquired Twitter – as part of an annual review of online platforms’ compliance with the bloc’s voluntary code of conduct for information. false. It found that Twitter rated just over half of the notifications it received for illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.

The numbers could still be worse. Since taking over, Musk has laid off half of the company’s 7,500-person workforce along with countless contractors responsible for content moderation. Many others have resigned, including the company’s head of trust and safety.

The recent layoffs at Twitter and the outcome of the EU review “are a source of concern,” the bloc’s justice commissioner Didier Reynders tweeted on Thursday evening following a meeting with Twitter executives at headquarters. the company’s European headquarters in Dublin.

During the meeting, Reynders said he “emphasized that we expect Twitter to fulfill its voluntary commitments and comply with EU rules,” including the Digital Services Act and strict regulations. block privacy regulations known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s vice-president for values ​​and transparency, tweeted on Thursday evening that she was concerned about reports that “a large number” of Twitter’s European employees had been hacked. dismissal.

“If you want to effectively detect and take action against #disinformation & propaganda, this takes resources,” says Jourova. “Especially in light of Russia’s disinformation war.”

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